By the end of the 1960’s, the American counterculture was losing its faith in the effectiveness and validity of a movement based on peace and love. With Vietnam seemingly nowhere near over, and the climate at home increasingly pessimistic, the youth inevitably had to stir things up a little. Four fucked-up kids from Detroit, led by a hyperactive and volatile lead singer, made music that represented their lifestyle: one of drugs, sex, partying and an utter disdain for society as a whole. Released in 1969, The Stooges’ self-titled debut unknowingly paved the way for what would become punk rock.
Influenced in part by the psychedelic bands that were found en masse during the sixties, the Stooges added elements of garage rock and blues to create their unique and original amalgamation of American rock music. The Stooges shows the diversity of these influences, not sticking just to the dirtied-up rock sound that is often so identified with the band. In the album’s leadoff track,”1969,” Iggy laments about the state of America: “War across the U.S.A./ Another year for me and you/ Another year with nothing to do.” And what do bored kids do? Well start bands of course! And while they’re at it, just maybe, change the face of popular music.
While tracks like “I Wanna Be Your Dog” and “Little Doll” display the sex-obsessed side of the band through fuzzy and bluesy rock riffs, others like the epic “We Will Fall” show a band that’s willing to experiment and can sound just as fucked up playing at slower pace. Obviously influenced in part by their producer and former Velvet Underground member John Cale, “We Will Fall” is a brooding and art-fucked piece that could only be made by white trash speed freaks from Detroit, not their equally smacked up hipster pals from New York. The music lacks the pretentiousness of some of their counterparts, an achievement that can never be planned for or contrived. It’s real.
Though many point to Funhouse as the best and most influential Stooges album, it’s impossible to ignore the impact of their debut. Anyone who listens to this in comparison to what else was being released at the time can undoubtedly say that the Stooges were ahead of their time. And unlike most bands, they weren’t trying to be. They made the type of music they wanted to hear, and what they did make was an extension of the lives they lived. Sex, drugs, and rock `n’ roll. As cliché as it sounds this was the Stooges, and this was them way were before the money and the way after the fame — nothing but pure American rock music.
Similar Albums/ Albums Influenced:
Dead Boys – Young, Loud and Snotty
New York Dolls – New York Dolls
Mudhoney – Superfuzz Bigmuff